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  1. #1

    Power grid interference: What does it look like measured with different tools?

    If you're interested to see what power grid interference looks like, take a look at the videos below, or a comprehensive article about it here: F4SX Audio Power Filter - RDacoustic.cz (explains in detail what I did here and includes background info + why is it important in audio). A few months ago, I posted measurements of power grid interference with and without a power filter using a spectrum analyzer. Other measuring techniques include EMI line meters and oscilloscopes.


    Measurements using an EMI meter:





    Using an oscilloscope:





    A closer look:





    And using a spectrum analyzer:





    This is Europe. I would be interested to see what it looks like on other continents if anybody has any sample measurements or experience.

  2. #2
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    Re: Power grid interference: What does it look like measured with different tools?

    The only place these trivial AC line irregularities have any impact is at the audio output of your components.
    An well designed component will be able to deal with much larger irregularities.
    If fact if you were to examine the AC power in to your amp with a current probe, you would see that the amp converts those pretty sine waves in to almost square waves.

  3. #3

    Re: Power grid interference: What does it look like measured with different tools?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    An well designed component will be able to deal with much larger irregularities.
    A filter suppresses high frequency interference that comes from the power grid. The vast majority of audio components rely only on a simple transformer in the source section. However, due to its parasitic internal capacitance, high frequency interference gets from the source part to the signal. Most electronics then address this with a strong feedback loop, which diminishes the detail we were looking for in music in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    If fact if you were to examine the AC power in to your amp with a current probe, you would see that the amp converts those pretty sine waves in to almost square waves.
    Absolutely, but this happens at 50–60 Hz, 100–120Hz if you want: I don't know what this has to do with high frequency interference that is the subject of our article. Speaking of amplifiers and your "square waves"... the area of interest here is at the edges where interference occurs at the switching diodes. This interference, which is in the DC part already, is addressed by hardly any manufacturers. If only, among others, because in the DC part, the solution would have to be large and expensive.

    We go for details in music, so we use high sensitivity drivers that are capable of reproducing those details. With low-sensitivity speakers, or when someone uses equalization, for example, such details obviously won't be audible. Whether discarded by strong feedback in the amplifier or anything else, doing this kind of thing will loose sense. But there's no doubt it makes sense in our audio chain...

  4. #4
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    Re: Power grid interference: What does it look like measured with different tools?

    The google translation of that suggests Mike needs to do something with it
    Speakers: Magico M3,ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso stack | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma | Rack: YG Acoustics Rack 1.4
    and Rack 1.1 amp stands (pair) | Source: Kaleidescape Premiere

    On order: Shunyata Research Everest.
    On sale: Everything!

  5. #5
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    Re: Power grid interference: What does it look like measured with different tools?

    David,
    Thank you for posting this information. It is clear and well written. I have been using similar commercial off-the-shelf filters from companies like Schurter and Schaffner. They work well. If I have time this winter I can measure the power line noise here. My spectrum analyzer is limited to about +10 dBm @ 50 ohms so I will have to build some kind of voltage divider to safely take a measurement. What do you use? My next step is to measure the noise output of my system with and without the power line filters. That's the real test. Most of my gear uses R-Core transformers which are not as prone to conducting HF noise as, say a toroidal power transformer. Still, there is plenty of mutual inductance there so it will be interesting to see the results.

    I wish you all the best.
    Last edited by W9TR; Yesterday at 12:59 PM. Reason: clarity
    Tom

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    Re: Power grid interference: What does it look like measured with different tools?

    Power line noise and interference are best examined at the audio output of the connected components.
    Circuit design engineers know of the probability of power line noise & interference and design the power supply and the audio circuit accordingly.

  7. #7
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    Re: Power grid interference: What does it look like measured with different tools?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    Power line noise and interference are best examined at the audio output of the connected components.
    Circuit design engineers know of the probability of power line noise & interference and design the power supply and the audio circuit accordingly.
    Correct. And a signficant proportion of the "power line noise" in our audio systems comes from the full-wave bridge rectifier power supplies in...the components themselves. Many folks forget it's AC...alternating current. The current goes both ways, into the component and out of the component.

  8. #8
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    Re: Power grid interference: What does it look like measured with different tools?

    An interesting measurement with my EMI tester.

    Noise at wall outlet = 1750mV (day)
    Noise at outlet of PS Audio power regenerator = 1600mV
    Noise at outlet of Shunyata Denali 6000/S v1 = 1300mV.

    If the PS Audio marketing is to be believed, which says: "...In the process of regeneration any problems on your power line such as low voltage, distorted waveforms, sagging power and noise are eliminated". My PS Audio contraption didn't listen to the PS Audio marketing about eliminating noise. It's only reducing noise from 1750mV to 1600mV.

    Whereas the Denali 6000/S v1 is doing a much better job of reducing noise 1750mV to 1300mV.

    My Everest should arrive on Monday. It will be interesting to see how much better Everest is at reducing noise compared to Denali 6000/S v1.
    Speakers: Magico M3,ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso stack | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma | Rack: YG Acoustics Rack 1.4
    and Rack 1.1 amp stands (pair) | Source: Kaleidescape Premiere

    On order: Shunyata Research Everest.
    On sale: Everything!

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Power grid interference: What does it look like measured with different tools?

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